Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Former California congressman Gary Condit has spoken publicly for the first time in 15 years about the disappearance and death of Washington intern Chandra Levy, denying any involvement and insisting he never had an affair with the 24-year-old.
Levy was an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2001 when she disappeared while jogging. Her remains were found a year later in a remote area of the Washington, D.C., Rock Creek Park.
Condit, a Democrat, told Phil McGraw in a new interview for the Dr. Phil talk show that he did not have an affair with Levy and was not involved in her death.
“I saw her one time outside the office, at a restaurant, and she came by my condo once,” Condit said of Levy, who was from his congressional district. “Maybe twice. Yeah, I think it was twice she came by.”
A married man, Condit, according to investigators at the time, admitted to police he had had an affair with Levy, but denied any connection to her disappearance. Condit was investigated but never charged in connection with the case. He has never publicly admitted to an affair with Levy.
The McGraw interview marks the first time Condit, 68, has spoken about the case since an August 2001 interview with Connie Chung on ABC.
When Chung asked him then whether he had anything do to with Levy’s disappearance, Condit replied, “No, I didn’t.”
Condit also answered, “No, I did not,” when asked by Chung whether he had killed Levy.
Ingmar Guandique, an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, was convicted of Levy’s murder in 2010 and sentenced to 60 years in prison, but his conviction was later overturned and a retrial ordered earlier this year. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia dismissed all charges against Guandique in July after the office concluded that “it can no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Authorities say the jailhouse confession on which the original conviction was based came from an unreliable witness.
Susan Levy, Chandra’s mother, told ABC News in response to Condit’s Dr. Phil interview that she believes there is much more to the story than what Condit is saying.
“Chandra was secretive about her relationship with Condit,” Susan Levy said in a statement to ABC News. “Chandra shared that her ‘Man’, as she called him, was high profile and it was best to not be seen together. This man told her to not carry her identification when they went out. For me, that was a red flag.”
Susan Levy also said phone records from an account she and her husband paid on Levy’s behalf suggest Levy and Condit had a close relationship.
“We had evidence of MANY calls [Chandra] made to Condit’s private office line at all hours,” Susan Levy’s statement read.
Condit, who has written a book on his experience, is now living in Arizona and working various odd jobs, including at one point owning Baskin-Robbins franchises.
Condit suggested to McGraw that police tried to frame him for the murder.
“There’s nothing unusual about someone coming by my condo; a lot of people did,” Condit said. “So people have made some speculation about that being something special.”
When asked by McGraw whether police were trying to make something out of Levy’s visit to his condo, Condit replied, “Trying to, absolutely, yeah.”
“They were trying to make something out of everything they could,” he added.
The full interview with Condit will air on Dr. Phil Thursday.
Tune in to ABC News 20/20 Friday, Nov. 4 at 10 p.m. ET for a special hour on the Chandra Levy murder case.
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